Chinese dog breeds are mainly focused on because of the fascinating history related to them. There are many history-related things in China including pandas, dragons, silkworms, and centuries-old Chinese traditions. China is also the home to numerous extraordinary and adorable dog breeds. There are all kinds of dogs in China including big, small, hairy, fluffy, or hairless.
Numerous dog breeds were bred in China for the emperors to be kept as companions by the emperor’s family and the imperial court as a prized possession. These breeds are now considered to be the most precious ones and are adored by dog lovers all around the globe. They are now an integral part of people’s lives.
According to numerous evidence, the domestication of the dogs was started in ancient Chine (Middle Kingdom). China has the longest history of producing adorable dogs. The most common Chinese dog breeds are Chow Chow and Shih Tzu, however, there are numerous other mixed and pure Chinese breeds. Let’s get more information about the Chinese breeds.
Top 17 Chinese Dog Breeds
Let’s take a look at the top 17 Chinese Dog Breeds. We compare the characteristics and give you an overview of them all. So, let gets this party started.
- Age: 12 – 15 years
- Weight: 3.2 – 6.4 kg
- Height: 15 – 23 cm
- Traits: Opinionated, intelligent, aggressive, stubborn, and good-natured
- Colors: White, black, fawn, black, tan, cream, and grey
It is an adorable toy breed specially bred for the ancient Chinese ruling class. This is the most popular breed in China and is considered royal in many ways. They have a long history. They have a friendly demeanor and can do well with even large families. This breed is so special that at one time in China, this breed required a royal status to be owned. They were named after the Chinese capital, which then changed to Beijing.
2. Chow Chow
- Age: 9 – 15 years
- Weight: Male: 25–32 kg
- Height: Male: 48–56 cm
- Traits: Aloof, independent, loyal, and quiet
- Colors: Black, blue, fawn, cream, and red
This is a cat-like breed, small, quiet, and independent. They need to be socialized at a young age otherwise they don’t do well with strangers. Because of the fur, they need less exercise in hot weather otherwise they get exhausted and overheated. In cooler weather, they require regular exercise. They should be taken on a daily walks in cooler weather.
- Age: 9 – 11 years
- Traits: Devoted, affectionate, independent, reserved, and loving
- Height: 46–51 cm
- Colors: Black, fawn, lilac, cream, sand, and red
- Weight: 18–25 kg
This breed is considered to be the largest Chinese breed and can weigh more than 670 pounds sometimes. This breed is renowned for its loyalty, intelligence, and courage. They are recommended to be owned by experienced dog owners and not by the novice owners. They are independent, intelligent, and protective and that makes them difficult at times for novice owners. They are obstinate and clever too. You can expect a little mischievous behaviour from them. They need to be socialised at young ages otherwise they do not do well with the strangers.
4. Japanese Chin
- Age: 12 – 14 years
- Weight: 1.4 – 6.8 kg
- Height: 20 – 27 cm
- Traits: Intelligent, alert, independent, loyal, and loving
- Colors: Black, white, lemon, and sable
Despite having a Japanese name, this dog bred was originally bred by the Buddhist monks and Chinese emperors. It was later developed by the Japanese in its recent form today, however, the origin is Chinese. This is a sweet and loving lapdog. It is calm and gets well with strangers. It can adapt to any environment and is best for city or apartment living.
5. Shih Tzu
- Age: 10 – 16 years
- Weight: 4 – 7.2 kg
- Height: 20 – 28 cm
- Colors: Black, white, brindle, liver, and white
- Traits: Playful, clever, outgoing, friendly, intelligent, and lively
This breed is one of the most popular Chinese breeds around the globe. They are renowned for the long coat and snout. They are smaller in size and can weigh from 9-16 pounds. They are playful, outgoing, and friendly and do well with strangers too.
There are various colors of their coat. They are very high-maintenance and require constant crushing to keep the hair smooth, soft, and clean. They get along very well with the kids and are kind and gentle towards them. They just need exercise to avoid obesity otherwise they will spend all day on the couch or on your lap.
6. Bone Mouth Dog
- Weight: 40-65 lbs
- Height: 19 to 23 inches
- Colors: Black and blue
- Age: 7-15 years
- Traits: Independent, aloof, and loving
Technically this is not a pure breed but a Shar-pei cross. It is not recognized by the AKC. However, this variation is very popular in China. The main difference in the characteristics between the two is because of the geological difference. The AKC recognizes the meat-mouth variation but not the bone-mouth variation.
- Age: 12 – 15 years
- Height: 30 – 36 cm
- Colors: Black, fawn, apricot, silver, and fawn
- Traits: Charming, clever, docile, mischievous, stubborn, and social
These are very popular in China as well as in the US. They are great house dogs and get along well with strangers. You can keep them in the city or apartment, or in the countryside, they will thrive in both places. They are very affectionate and playful. The only disadvantage of having this adorable breed is the health issues related to them. Breathing and back problems are really common in them.
8. Chinese crested
- Age: 13 – 15 years
- Traits: Sweet-tempered, lively, affectionate, alert, happy, and playful
- Weight: 2.3–5.4 kg
- Height: 23–30 cm
They are available in two types, hairless and hairy. However, they have different characteristics. Haired variety has bald face, and hairless variety has a lot of hair on face. None of the variety actually lives up to the name given. They are perfect for a family because they are friendly and playful. They are active than most of the small breeds and require active lifestyle and a lot of exercise. To some extent, they are not hypoallergenic.
9. Tibetan Spaniel
- Age: 12 – 15 years Weight: 4.1 – 6.8 kg
- Height: 25 cm
- Traits: Wilful, happy, aloof, playful, and intelligent
- Colors: Black, white, sable, black, tan, cream, gold, and red
They are specifically found in China and are almost not seen outside the country. It is considered to be one of the ancient dog breeds. They were initially bred to serve as guard dogs, however they are family dogs. Because of their barking instinct, they can cause problems for a family and the neighbors too. They have a lot of variations in colors.
10. Lhasa Apso
- Age: 12 – 14 years
- Traits: Playful, friendly, devoted, intelligent, and lively
- Height: 25–28 cm
- Weight: 5–7 kg
- Colors: Black, white, sandy, dark grizzle, honey, brown, and golden
They have a lot of similarities with the Shih Tzu, except for the long muzzle. They were bred for guarding the monasteries in the Himalayas. They are an old breed and have been around for thousands of years. Even with their small stature, they are really strong. They are very high-maintenance and require regular grooming. They have very long hair that can touch the floor with proper care. They have curly tails.
11. Tibetan terrier
- Age: 12 – 15 years
- Height: 35 – 41 cm
- Weight: 8 – 14 kg
- Traits: Sensitive, energetic, affectionate, reserved, and gentle
- Colors: Black, white, piebald, brindle, grey, and golden
This dog looks similar to a Lhasa Aps but is not. They are a little taller in size. Despite having terriers in their name, they are not actually terriers. They do not belong to a sporting category. They were actually bred to be the watch dogs. The hair coat on them requires a lot of grooming and maintenance. They are natural navigators in the mountains.
12. Formosan Mountain Dog
- Age: 10 – 13 years
- Traits: Bold, fearless, keen, alert, and faithful
- Height: 48–52cm
- Weight: 14–18 kg
- Colors: Black, white, brindle, and fawn
They were bred on the small island of Taiwan called Formosa. They are commonly found in this area and on some streets of the city and countryside. They can adapt to any environment and are renowned for that purpose. They are uncommon outside their hometown. They are not recognized by the AKC and are uncommon in the US as well. They are perfect for active families that are looking for a playful and loyal companions.
13. Xiasi Quan
- Height: 17 to 20 inches
- Weight: 22 to 66 pounds
- Age: 12 to 14 years
- Traits: Loyal and affectionate
- Colors: White
This is a breed from China’s Guizhou province. They are very different from other Chinese breeds. They were bred to be hunters therefore they have a high prey drive. They are very alert and intelligent. They are easy to train and do not act stubborn like many other dog breeds. They get along with anyone, except the smaller animals which can become their prey.
- Weight: 33–55 lbs
- Height: 14–18 inches
- Age: 10–12 years
- Traits: Confident, strong, and with a high prey drive
- Colors: Red, mahogany, and black
They are very similar to Chow Chow and Mastiff, however they are reserved as one of the natural breeds. They are very protective and possessive and can be used as guard dogs. They are muscular and vigilant, which makes them excellent guard dogs.
15. Tibetan Kyi Apso
- Weight: 32–41 kg
- Age: 10-12 years
- Height: 63–71 cm
- Traits: Stubborn, territorial, and aggressive
- Colors: Black with pale extremities
They are considered to be an endangered pure breed. They are used to guard the livestock in the Tibetan region. They are so hairy. Their hair is mostly shaved to make rugs. They have extremely long coats. They are lighter and athletic as compared to the Tibetan mastiff.
16. Kunming Wolfdog
- Height: 25 – 27 inches
- Weight: 30 – 38 kg
- Age: 12 to 14 years
- Traits: Obedient, devoted, and intelligent
- Colors: Tan and white with a hint of rust
They are very devoted and alert dogs. They are ideal for being used as police or military dogs. They are not suitable for a family dogs. They need constant exercise and a lot of activity for proper stimulation.
17. Shaanxi Xian Hound
- Weight: 44–66 lbs
- Height: 26–31 inches
- Age: 10–14 years
- Traits: Courageous, alert, and agile
- Colors: White, black, blue, silver, and red
These dogs were bred to be the hinting companions. They are used to hunting and prey in the open fields. They are very skilled hunters. They have a fantastic set of ears for hunting. They have a smooth coats and long legs. They are very high-speed runners.
The Chinese dog breeds have a long history of being coveted companions. While around the globe there are hundreds of dog breeds, some of the Chinese breeds are a status of royalty, and you can see the reason why.
There are various reasons to own a Chinese breed. Some of them have a history of guarding the monasteries, some are natural navigators, and some are just so adorable to leave them alone. The Chinese breeds are well-known for their beautiful long coats.
If you are looking for an adorable companion for your activities and also a guard dog, the Chinese breeds we mentioned are the best for you. But, before making a final decision, always look for more details about the health issues and allergies to keep your little pup at full strength.